Forensic exam next for area man accused of killing girlfriend


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 12:03 pm on Thursday, November 07, 2013

Scott Hammer is led from jail into the courtroom by a Kent County Sheriff’s deputy Wednesday afternoon in Grand Rapids. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

GRAND RAPIDS — A man accused of murdering his girlfriend will undergo a forensic examination before heading to trial.

Scott Hammer, 51, is charged with open murder in the death of his girlfriend Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29, during the early morning hours of Oct. 23.

Hammer was scheduled for a preliminary examination Wednesday afternoon in 63rd District Court in Grand Rapids. However, the prelim was adjourned after Hammer’s attorney, Jeffrey Kortes of Grand Rapids, requested a forensic examination first.

Judge Steven Servaas agreed to the request.

“I’m not going to set a bond on Mr. Hammer here,” the judge said. “When we get the report back from the forensic center, we’ll set a hearing and see what the conclusion is.”

Hammer was only present in court for a few minutes Wednesday afternoon. He did not speak.

Scholten-Linderman, affectionately known as “Dani” by family and friends, had been dating Hammer for more than two years, according to her mother, Brenda Taylor.  Taylor said the couple hadn’t been getting along well lately, but they were working on getting a house and moving in together.

The couple were living with family on Lincoln Lake Road in Spencer Township when the alleged murder occurred.

According to police, a struggle ensued between the couple early that morning, resulting in Scholten-Linderman’s death. Hammer fled the scene and went to a location in Sidney Township near Sheridan, where the couple had been renovating an old house to live in. Hammer allegedly set fire to one house and attempted to set another house on fire, but was unsuccessful.

Hammer was arrested a short time later in Sheridan without incident.

Danielle Scholten-Linderman

Scholten-Linderman was a 2002 graduate of Greenville High School and was employed as a waitress at Drake’s Place in downtown Greenville. She is the mother of two children, Jadan, 9, and Ava, 7.

Family and friends of Scholten-Linderman are planning several events to raise funds for her family, as well as to raise awareness of domestic violence prevention.

An all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast is scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Greenville Community Church, along with a raffle and bake sale. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

An evening of celebration in honor of Scholten-Linderman’s life is being planned for March 22 with a dinner and silent auction.

Visit Facebook.com/danischolten.memorial for more information about events being planned.

Donations to Scholten-Linderman’s children can be made at any Preferred Federal Credit Union.

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